USCGC Maui Fires Warning Shots

ARABIAN GULF (Feb. 25, 2021) The U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) and the Greek navy guided-missile frigate HS Hydra (F452) participate in a passing exercise in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 25, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) is comprised of six 110-foot cutters, the Maritime Engagement Team, shore-side support personnel, and is the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S. playing a key role in supporting Navy security cooperation, maritime security, and maritime infrastructure protection operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The US Naval Institute news service reports that USCGC Maui twice fired warning shots totaling about 30 rounds of .50 caliber, first as two Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats out of a total of 13, closed to 300 yards and a second time as they continued to approach to about 150 yards.

Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61); patrol ships USS Thunderbolt (PC-12), USS Hurricane (PC-3) and USS Squall (PC-7), and Coast Guard patrol boats, USCGC Wrangell (WPB-1332) and USCGC Maui (WPB-1304) were escorting an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSGN-729). USN helicopters were also overhead.

“The U.S. naval vessels were escorting Georgia as the submarine was transiting on the surface. Two Iranian vessels broke away from the larger group, transited to the opposite side of the U.S. formation, and approached Maui and Squall from behind at a rate of speed in excess of 32 knots with their weapons uncovered and manned,” 

USS Georgia was built as a ballistic missile submarine but was converted to carry cruise missiles and support special operations.

It seems likely that the composition of such escort groups will be more heavily weighted with Coast Guard patrol craft as the Navy decommissions their Cyclone class PCs, including the three that participated in this escort and as Webber class WPCs replace the Island class patrol boats like Maui and Wrangell.

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